When you have an infant, it is very much important to keep him or her away from germ hazards. Primarily, people are one of the most potent sources of germs. When large numbers of people are together or share items, disease causing germs can spread at any time. Particularly in colder months, people spend a lot of time indoors and frequent contact with each other makes the germs spread easily. Not only the family members but also friends and complete strangers seem to surround the babies and are sometimes desperate to touch, hold and cuddle the baby. It can make it tough to keep your baby healthy. Although it is impossible to protect your child from all contagious illnesses, you can develop some healthy habits to reduce your child's risk of infections.
Here are some suggestions to keep your baby healthy and protected against germs and common infectious illnesses:
• Washing hands is the first and most effective weapon to fight against infections. You should tell the people to wash their hands before touching or holding your baby. Do not feel any hesitation about asking people to do this.
• Do not share hats, combs, toothbrushes, or other personal items with others, even with your other baby. Use disposable tissues to wipe your baby's nose or eyes and throwing them away to make sure that your baby cannot catch their own coughs and sneezes in disposable tissues. Moreover, the practice of throwing tissues are also reducing the risk of infections on surfaces.
• Clean toys, surface area and other instruments by antibacterial cleaners. These antibacterial cleaners should also be kept far out of reach of the children.
• You should be careful and try to avoid people with cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, feeling generally unwell, or people with an upset stomach. Sometimes it feels uneasy to say, but you should always think about your baby's health.
• Smoking is not only injurious to the health of the smoker but also those around them. Babies and children can be seriously affected by cigarette smoke. Even smoke from other sources will still have a negative impact on their health. So you should politely tell people to stop smoking around your baby and keep your baby away from second-hand smoke or any kind of smoking environment.
• If your baby is in daycare, make sure they are strictly following good hygiene practices such as sanitary food preparation, sanitation of toys, proper bathroom procedures and cleaning.
Finally, only you and your family can decide which environment is healthy for your baby. Do not be hesitated to take any decision to protect your baby.
The writer is a lecturer of Department of Pharmacy, Primeasia University.